Thursday, February 9, 2017

Parties in interest in the enforcement of a contract

Is a plaintiff in a case for enforcement of contract which was for the benefit of another a real party in interest in that case?

Plaintiff is not affected by defendant's alleged intrusion on the right of way which was the subject of a condition in their deed of sale. They must show that they stand to be injured or benefitted by the outcome of the case. Can the Deed of Absolute Sale be a source of any right in their favor?

Under the Rules, an action for specific performance, like any other civil action, must be instituted by the real party in interest.

In Goco vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 157449, April 6, 2010): “One having no material interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as the plaintiff in an action. When the plaintiff is not the real party in interest, the case is dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of action.”

If in case the party who has the sole interest in this case has already abandoned de facto his property (dominant estate) in the said area long before the use of part of the pathway by defendant, plaintiff clearly has no right to assert something which the supposed beneficiary has already abandoned. Defendants is no longer under any obligation to provide a right of way in any size or width because of the change in circumstance which annuls the crux of the original agreement being sought to be enforced.

Moreover, the Deed of Absolute Sale is precisely named so because it attaches no conditions for which the conveyance was made. While plaintiff wanted to make sure that the existing right of way  she has with the beneficiary will be respected by the new owner (buyer), such agreement cannot be considered sine qua non to the validity and enforcement of the sale. For in fact, said agreement was made for the benefit of another person and that person therefore is the real party in interest who can assert such right, granting arguendo that such right of action has not been extinguished, based on the deed of sale.


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